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Guide to keep your google account safe from hackers | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

By Chinenye Anuforo

As technology improves every day, cybercriminals (hackers) also try to improve themselves to up their game. They always try to find their way into any advanced technologies or solutions hence the need to protect yourself online.

Hackers are always trying to find ways to hack into your Google account and steal your information. Luckily, Google has many tools that you can use to help keep your account secure. This  article will teach you how to keep your Google account safe from hackers.

Create a strong password. Don’t use your name, birth date, pets or kids’ names, or the name of your street as your password: make it hard to guess

•A strong password will be at least 10 characters in length, but the more the better. The longer your password is, the more time it will take the hacker to crack it.

•A strong password should contain at least one of each of the following characters: lower-case letters, upper-case letters, numbers, and special characters

Do not use your Google password anywhere else. Create a different password for every website that you use

•It’s not enough to use the same password with different numbers at the end (e.g., password1, password2 …).

• Consider downloading the Password Alert extension if you use Google Chrome. Password Alert will warn you whenever you enter you Google Password on a non-Google site, which can help protect you from phishing and accidentally using your Google password on another site. To use Password Alert, simply download it from the Chrome store, and then follow the onscreen directions.

Consider using a password manager. As you create more accounts and passwords, it’ll likely be difficult to remember them all. There are many good password managers available that will encrypt and safely store your passwords, such as 1Password, LastPass, and KeePass

•You might have a password manager built into your operating system — for example, Mac users have keychain available to them for free.

•If you don’t want to use a password manager, consider using a passphrase, for example: “I like big butts and I cannot lie!” might become iLbBaIcL!

Avoid sharing your Google password with anyone. Even people you trust, like your friends and family, might accidentally share your password with someone you don’t trust

Only log in on trusted computers. If you are using a computer that you don’t know or trust, then don’t even log into your account. Hackers commonly use key loggers on computer systems that record everything you type, including passwords.

•If it’s not possible for you to avoid typing a password into a computer you don’t trust, then change your password once you’re back at your own computer.

Enable two-step verification. Two-step verification makes sure that even if a hacker guesses your password, then your account will still be safe. Every time you log in from a new device, you will get a code or notification from Google that you will have to enter or approve in order for the sign in to be successful

•Google prompt is the most secure method of two-step verification, while an authenticator app is somewhere in the middle with voice or text message being the least secure (although any of these methods would be more secure than not having two-step verification at all).

Regularly check your account activity. Google keeps a log of all major security events on your account and allows you to view them. The log will show the changes and the location of where the changes were made. If you click on the event, then you can see more information about it, such as the IP address of the computer that made the change, the device that was used, and a map of the location.

•If you see something that you don’t recognize, then you should change your password immediately.

Review your app passwords. Delete app passwords that you no longer use to make it harder to hack into your account. If you use an app that requires an app password, then you should look into other services or apps that don’t require app passwords, as app passwords can allow hackers to bypass two-step verification

•If you don’t have any app passwords, then you can skip this step.

Choose a secure PIN. Some Google services, like Google Pay, allow you to set a PIN that you can use to verify your identity. When you chose a PIN, use a completely random number. Don’t use your birth date, home address, part of a phone number, or any other number that can be linked back to you.

•Your account may not have an option to set a PIN.

Add a recovery phone and email. Adding recovery phone or email allows you to gain access to your account in case you ever forget your password. It can also allow you to take control of your account back from the hacker.

• Make sure that you only use an email address or phone number that you control, don’t use the ones of friends or family. Even if you trust your friends or family, their account could be hacked, or phone stolen, which would then put your account at risk.

Review the devices that are signed into your account and check third-party app access. Reviewing these areas on your account will allow you to make sure that only your current devices and services have access to your account. Make sure to remove any old devices and accounts that you don’t use anymore. If you see something that you don’t recognize, then you should immediately remove it and change your password.


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National Cyber Security